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Request a D2L shell (Chang online distance courses only)

Request a D2L shell (Chang online distance courses only)

What is a Brightspace "shell"?

"Shells" are the spaces in the D2L Brightspace learning system that are created for online course components and other collaborative projects ('Course Shells' and 'Organization Shells', respectively). Shells can contain attached documents, learning materials, quizzes, assignments, discussions, and more.

"Course Shell" is associated with a specific course, in a specific term, at Toronto Metropolitan University. Course Shells need to be requested each time you teach the course to a different cohort of students, but you may request a copy of materials for up to 2 years.

Can I use this form to request my Brightspace shell?

This is an online distance course run through the Chang School, with no classroom component.

This section is listed when I view MyServiceHub (formerly RAMSS).

I have taught this specific course in the last 2 years, and have a previous Brightspace shell to copy.

If you're not sure, please contact the Digital Education Strategies instructor support team at

Self Serve options

The request process will result in ONE course shell, containing all of the course/sections that you specify.

1. Go to and sign in using your torontomu username and password.

2. Find the section called Self Service, and click on the link Courses and Organizations.

3. Once in the Courses and Organizations section, click Request and Manage Course Shell. This section will expand, and you will see your options.

4. Click the option to Create a Course Shell. Please note that you must fill out the form once for each course shell you need. This will create one D2L Course Shell, and one Google Group.

At this point, depending on the types of courses you are teaching, you might see a pop-up prompt.

Click 'Yes' if...

  1. The shell you are requesting is for a Chang School online distance course (ie. with no classroom component).
  2. The course-section was listed when you checked your MyServiceHub (formerly RAMSS) account.
  3. You have taught this exact course before (within 2 years), and you want to create a D2L Brightspace course shell that is a copy of that past course shell.

Please continue to follow the step-by-step instructions below to fill out this course shell request form.

Do not proceed at all if...

The course you want to request is a Chang School online distance course (with no classroom component) that you are teaching for the first time.

Instead, email for assistance creating your course shell.

If you do not see the pop-up...

If you do not see the pop-up, the "general" request form will load immediately for you. Please do not try to fill out this request form for a Chang School distance online course shell. If you do, you will not receive the correct type of course shell.

That means you don't have the necessary conditions to request your own shell for this course -- and the instructor support team at will be more than happy to help you.

If you want to request a course other than your distance Chang School course...

If you are teaching a combination of types of courses, which include online and regular classroom-based courses, and you wish to request a D2L Brightspace course shell for a regular (classroom) course, click on 'No', and go to our main step-by-step instructions to request your D2L Brightspace course shell.

Step 1: Course Information

Start by clicking the Select a Term menu and choosing the term that the course is going to start in.

If the MyServiceHub (formerly RAMSS) system has assigned you a course/section, you should see your course/sections listed below.

The courses MyServiceHub (formerly RAMSS) knows you're teaching

After selecting the term that the course runs in, the form will display any courses that MyServiceHub knows you are teaching for that term. (If it is more than 2-3 weeks before the start of the term, you may not see your course(s) listed yet.)

Check the box for the course/section that you wish to be included in this one Course Shell.

NOTE: If you are also teaching the same course in a classroom setting (ie. undergraduate, graduate or continuing education evening classes), and need that section also included in this course shell, please check the box beside This course shell requires additional sections. This will send an email to so that they can assist you with this.

You should see a preview of your Course Shell title. The Course Shell title appears on every user's My Courses page, at the top of the D2L shell, and in the Google Group.

You should see a title already filled in the field. You can modify the title if needed.

Step 2: Brightspace shell details

Click on the drop down menu to see all of your relevant course shells that are up to two years old. Simply select the one you would like to copy. This will usually be the most recent course. Look for the term in the shell code (ie. f21, p21, w20).

The One-Stop Course Readings service for eReserve are already available for you.

If you wish to copy course readings from the previous version of this course, check the box.

If you click I would like to add a subject librarian to this Course Shell, you will receive a confirmation email and a follow up email from your subject librarian. You can decide with your subject librarian what role you would like them to play in your Course Shell. Find out more about the benefits of adding a subject librarian to your Course Shell.

Step 3: Terms and Agreements

Please carefully read through the Terms and Agreements section.

This is a reminder that this request form will generate ONE Course Shell. You will not be able to process your shell request form until you agree.

Review what you have selected in the request form before you click on the Request a Course Shell button at the bottom of the page.

If you try to submit and have missed any required fields, the page will reload with a warning at the top. Scroll through the page to find an error message near any missed fields.

Once you submit the form, depending on server traffic, it may take up to a few hours for your course shell to be created/copied.

If you are requesting a copy of one of your own previous shells, a blank Course Shell will be created first, and then the content will be copied into it automatically. This may take several hours.

If you encounter any problems with your request, please email for assistance.

I think I requested the wrong course or made some incorrect choices when filling out the form. What do I do?!

Send an email to with details of the problem.

I don't see my regular classroom-based courses (or sections) listed in Step 2 of the form. What do I do?!

The instructions on this page are for Chang online distance courses only. Please follow the instructions to find access the request form, and click on 'No' when you see the popup asking if you are trying to request a Chang School shell for an online distance course.

I accidentally selected a 2-term course shell. What do I do?

Email and tell them what you did. They will assist you.

 Course shell Google Groups

Every shell request automatically comes with a Google Group made up of the members of the shell. These make it easier for you to leverage the Google Workspace functionality for your class. 

From now on, when you request a Course Shell or Organization shell, you will automatically get both a Brightspace shell AND a corresponding Google Group. If the Brightspace shell code is abc123_f21_02, the email address for the Google Group will be

The Brightspace shell and Google Group contain the same members - including automatic updates based on enrollments (for example, students enrolled in a specific section of a course) and members added individually using the Self Service tools in There are a few exceptions, mostly in non-course training shells and a few organizations. 

You can find a list of the members included in BOTH the Brightspace shell and the Google Group by going to  the Self Service tools in

Will pre-existing Brightspace shells now have Google Groups?

Yes. You will see groups for your recent shells listed in Google Groups. This is useful for course and organization shells that are ongoing - you can start to make use of the Google Groups if you want to start sharing Google-based resources.

Where can I get help with Google Groups?

Google Groups is supported by Computing and Communications Services - you can contact them at with any questions

Google Groups don't have the same member roles as D2L Brightspace.

  • Instructors and Shell Managers are given a "Manager" role in the corresponding Google Group.
  • All other shell members - students, TAs, Course Builders, etc. - are all given a "Member" role in the corresponding Google Group.

This means that the course TAs and Course Builders don't have special access to the Google Group that corresponds with their course shells.